How Do I Become a Firefighter?

People who want to help preserve property and help others may be wondering “How do I become a firefighter?” This type of work is quite demanding, both physically and mentally, but it is very rewarding for people who have the strength and maturity to handle it.

Examinations Required to Become a Firefighter

If your goal is to work as a firefighter, you will need to pass a series of exams. Along with a written examination, a prospective firefighter must pass a physical test, medical exam and psychological testing. The final stage in the process is an oral interview. An applicant who does not do well in any of these stages may be eliminated from consideration for a firefighter position.

Written Examination

The written exam is made up of a number of multiple-choice questions. It is designed to measure the applicant’s abilities in the following skills:

• Deductive reasoning
• Judgment
• Memory
• Oral and written communication
• Problem solving
• Reading comprehension
• Spelling
• Verbal and listening comprehension
• Visualization

Physical Agility Test

Firefighters must be physically fit and the agility test is an important part of the qualification process. During this phase, the applicant will perform firefighting activities so that his or her level of fitness and strength can be evaluated. Most of the elements of the physical agility test are completed within a short time (10 minutes or less) and you will want to make sure that you have worked hard to increase your lung capacity and overall strength training before participating in the test.

Medical Examination

Applicants who score well on the physical agility test will be asked to undergo a medical examination. The doctor will check your weight and examine your limbs. The exam will also include the doctor checking your temperature and blood pressure, as well as looking into your eyes, ears, mouth and nose.

During the exam, you will be asked to provide a blood and urine sample. The results of the test will be mailed to you a few weeks after your appointment.

Psychological Examination

The psychological examination is a written test. A significant number of applicants (up to 40 percent) fail to pass this part of the application process. It’s a good idea to investigate test preparation materials to help you familiarize yourself with the types of questions which will be asked on the test and how to present yourself in the best possible manner.

Oral Interview

The oral interview stage of the exam process can be especially nerve-wracking for applicants. In most cases, three members of the fire department you are interested in joining will participate in the interview and ask you questions.

It’s important to look your best during the interview. The panel is looking for applicants who are courteous, mature and who are able to express themselves clearly. Having strong morals and a tolerant attitude is also important. If you do well at the personal interview, you may receive an offer of employment from the fire department.

The answer to the question, “How do I become a firefighter?” is that you will need to undergo a number of tests, which can take some time, before you get to the stage where you may be offered a job.

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